Call it the House and Senate education committees’ after-school special.
On Monday afternoon, the committees will hold a second “listening session” to allow the public an open mike on education issues.
The session will run from 4 to 6 p.m, and isn’t exactly the evening session some people requested. However, the schedule is an attempt to strike a scheduling balance that works for teachers, who are in class during the day, and legislators, who generally have social functions in the evening.
“We felt this was a good compromise,” said Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, chairman of the House Education Committee.
Monday’s “listening session” coincides with Idaho School Boards Association’s “Day on the Hill” lobbying trip. Ironically enough, the ISBA has a “Building Relationships with Legislators Workshop,” scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at the Grove Hotel.
ISBA executive director Karen Echeverria said she has no qualms about the overlap between the listening session and the ISBA’s events, which draw about 150 trustees and district employees to the Statehouse.
Idaho Education Association executive director Robin Nettinga said she is “very thankful” for the second listening session. An evening session would not have enabled teachers from outside the Treasure Valley to testify in person; they will need to submit written testimony anyway. As long as local teachers have a chance to sign up after school and testify that afternoon, Nettinga said, the session will give teachers a chance to be heard.
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